Yesterday my daughter Nina said, "Mom, you're a pretty White lady who looks twenty years younger than she really is. You have a great life. No one feels sorry for you."
I briefly researched bankruptcy this past weekend.
I don't think it's for me.
I think I have to commit to paying off my two lines of credit.
The one is a credit card that just kept getting more and more maxed out.
The other is a line of credit from when I owned a house.
The house sold for much less than I was hoping and at the time there was only enough revenue to pay off the mortgage, but not enough to pay off the home equity line of credit.
I have managed money wrongly in so many ways.
I lived beyond my means because I thought my means were going to pick up and meet my ideals.
I wrote novels, I wrote songs, I recorded albums, I went on tours.
I thought some of it if not all of it would eventually click and I'd have a good income.
I live on about $10,000 a year right now.
So it's not that I'm so extravagant.
I used to be extravagant for a while, but that was when I was married to a doctor and it was within our means as a couple to be extravagant.
I thought after my divorce I'd take a big fall financially but eventually it would all even out from all my efforts.
Okay, you get it.
Well, I'm running out of steam.
People are avoiding me because they're afraid I'll ask them for financial support.
My left hand is getting some tendon problems and arthritis problems from playing guitar so much and for so long at a time.
My voice is great, better for all the singing.
My body is great, better for all the carrying of guitars and amplifiers, better for the attention to stay stage ready at fifty-eight years old.
I've continued to generate new material, new products, new projects through these difficult financial times of mine.
I just got a song played on the taste making The Current NPR radio station and they featured my new video in their Friday Five best videos last week.
That's very positive attention.
I'm going to Europe as a three piece band in three weeks.
We have some very nice shows lined up.
But for how hard I worked this summer, and I did, by anyone's standards, put in the hours and the effort at my craft, but for how hard I worked, I didn't make a big dent in my debts.
Mostly because I love food and wine and clothes and make up and gardening stuff and I have a really strong desire to make things nice.
I'm good at making things nice and I enjoy making things nice.
I can do a lot with very little, but money has to be spent if you want things to be nice in your little life.
Our trip to Europe may show me some answers.
We'll see how I am received now.
This could well be the last trip.
It's the thirteenth tour to Europe that I've done.
Some have made a profit in recent years.
This one will not.
It's only two weeks and it's three people to feed and house and move around.
God help me.
Fortune favors the brave.
I used to say that.
Look where it got me.
Fortune favors the prudent, the careful, the practical, the frugal.
Fortune does not favor reckless middle aged women who go tilting at the windmills of their vanity projects.
Yesterday my mother said that she's ashamed of how I'm living.
She doesn't think it's right that I'm "freeloading" on a man who has not asked me to marry him.
She doesn't think it's right that I continue to go on European Tours when my credit card is maxed out.
She has never been that happy with me, her only daughter.
To be fair, she's not the most sane or nice person in the world and she might not have liked anything I did no matter what it was.
But what I'm doing makes me an easy target for her disdain and disgust.
Do I care what she thinks?
You try thinking about what it would feel like to have your own mother tell you to your face that she's ashamed of you and the way you're living your life.
It's hard not to care when I know it doesn't all add up to a rosy picture.
I am going to keep going today, keep doing what I think is the best use of my time under the circumstances.
Live every day like it's your last.
I'm good with that.
If today was my last day I would go for a bike ride around Lake Harriet.
I would teach a music lesson to a woman I really enjoy seeing once a month and today's our day.
I'd go play my guitar in downtown Minneapolis for the passersby and the street loiterers.
Those are my plans.
I'm going to live each day as if it were my last because it could be.
And I'm going to pray for deliverance from my sins.